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Meridian Institute

Illegal Genetically Engineered Starlink Corn Contaminates Food Aid

Summary posted by Meridian on 6/11/2002

Source: National Environmental Trust via Environmental News Network

Author(s): n/a

The Bolivian Forum on Environment and Development (FOBOMADE), a citizens' group in Bolivia, reports that food aid donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) tested positive for the presence of the genetically engineered corn, Starlink, a crop not approved for human consumption in the U.S. Friends of the Earth-Nicaragua announced FOBOMADE's finding at the United Nations' World Food Summit in Rome. Both organizations criticized USAID and the World Food Program (WFP) for transporting GM food as food aid to countries lacking biosafety regulations. The article notes that in a news release the WFP asserted, "The WFP does not distribute food that is not acceptable for human consumption by the citizens of the producing countries (donor countries) and by the countries that receive the food assistance." The piece explains that Starlink was not approved for human consumption because of human allergen concerns. According to the article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended that more testing be conducted for vulnerable populations such as children. FOBOMADE confirmed the presence of Starlink in the food aid with Genetic ID, an independent laboratory located in Iowa. The article reports that the Genetically Engineered Food Alert coalition provided DNA sampling kits to more than 40 groups worldwide to test for StarLink.

The original article may still be available at http://www.enn.com/direct/display-release.asp?id=7106

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